To the woman desperately trying to have a baby: I understand. I remember
"To the woman who has needle marks or laparoscopy scars on her stomach – I understand and remember..."
Right now, with two energetic young sons, our life is one noisy, happy mess. But it wasn’t always this way.
There was a time when, instead of childish laughter, school runs and bear hugs given by small arms, our life was filled with doctors’ appointments, hormone injections and invasive procedures.
Instead of the joy and love our kids bring us, we experienced fleeting hope that always ended with sadness and disappointment.
I suffered more emotionally than I did physically. There are no words to describe the hope you feel when you see your baby as a blastocyst being inserted in you, and the agony of realising he didn’t want to stay with you when you get your period.
Now things are different and our lives are intrinsically entwined with those of our children. But back then, our lives were ruled by my infertility.
And I couldn't bring myself to share my experience with anyone other than my husband, until I saw you. I want to tell you, I understand and I know what you are going through, how you feel.
To the woman at the supermarket who looks longingly at my kids with a wistful smile
I know you’re wondering if you will ever have a child of your own to hold and cherish, if you will ever see your own eyes looking back at you filled with love.
You’ve been trying for so long now and I know that you’re starting to wonder if something is wrong with you, if you will ever see those two blue lines on a pregnancy test.
And even though I can’t see your face as you slowly walk back to your car, I know that you have tears in your eyes.
I understand that sadness in your heart that I wish with all my heart will turn to joy one day soon.
To the woman who has needle marks or laparoscopy scars on her stomach – I understand and remember.
Because I too have felt the pain of those needles piercing my skin, month after month, knowing that my body was being flooded with artificial hormones, but happy to go through it all with the hope of meeting the little one I never knew.
I too have had doctors probe around my insides, trying to find what was ‘wrong’ with me. I still carry the three scars of my laparoscopy, and I carry these proudly because they are signs of my fight against infertility.
I want to tell you – it will all be worth it some day.
To the woman shrinking in a corner in the clinic, surrounded by new mums with their newborns
I know you came here full of excitement – you were going to see and hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time! But the screen was blank. There was no flickering dot of a heart. There was only an empty sac.
You will bleed for the next few weeks from your body and your heart. I am so sorry for your loss because I understand. I remember.
To the woman leaving the fertility clinic with hope in her eyes
You might have just had your eggs retrieved, an embryo transfer done or a successful laparoscopy done to remove that endometriosis-induced growth on your ovaries. Whatever it is, at this moment you feel a hope that is indescribable. I remember.
Your hope is so strong that it is tangible and I know that today, you will go home and dare to dream of little feet running through your house and little fingers entwined in your hair as you bend down to kiss the tip of a tiny nose.
I want to tell you – keep that hope with you always because it is what will get you through life, for a long time to come.
And to the woman leaving the fertility clinic with sadness and despair in her eyes
I cry with you, my friend. You have probably gone through many cycles of unsuccessful fertility treatments and your doctor has just told you to consider other options.
I know that today is one of the darkest days in your life and you will go home and cry a river of tears. I remember.
But can I tell you something? As someone whose doctor looked at me and my husband one day with sadness in her own eyes, and said “consider taking a break or looking at other options” – don’t give up hope. We didn't.
The drive to be a mum is fuelled by the strongest emotion that a human can experience, which is love. So remember: your love will succeed, some day, in some way.
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